Arginine is an amino acid that has a diverse role of functions in the human body. Arginine can be consumed as basic Arginine and L-arginine, the difference between these two is minimal but it plays a part in the biological availability of the amino acid when consumed. The ‘L’ basically stands for levorotary (NOT lavatory, getting this muddled could be embarrassing) and determines the direction of polarisation for a particular amino acid (to the left, or anti-clockwise) (Meriam Webster, 2013).
Arginine is used to make compounds such as nitric oxide, creatine, glutamate and proline, and are key to improving blood flow to the muscles and brain. L-arginine has also been seen to stimulate the production of growth hormone making it useful in the acquisition of lean muscle mass. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) also state that it may aid ones immune function, wound healing and removing excess ammonia from the body.
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Greenwood, M., Kalman, D, S., Antonio, J. (2008). Nutritional Supplements in Sports and Exercise. Supplements for strength and power athletes. NJ: Humana Press.
Meriam Webster, (2013). Levorotatory. Retrieved 25th November, 2013, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/levorotatory